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Make Matt Schaub your last-minute trade target

By Cory J. Bonini

I have become a moderate fan of Matt Schaub for the rest of the fantasy football season. He has an enticing schedule, although it may be tough to rely on him with the way Arian Foster has steadily churned out yardage this season.

Houston seems reluctant to allow Schaub to unnecessarily let it fly downfield. His 7.3 yards-per-attempt average is the lowest of his career as a starter, and Houston's weaponry isn't exactly elite in the passing game. Andre Johnson, at times, has looked 31 years old, Kevin Walter is not scaring anyone, and Owen Daniels (back) is ailing.

Matt Schaub, QB, Houston Texans

That gloomy perspective does not mean it is all bad, because defenses of Houston's upcoming opponents can neutralize any drawbacks of the Texans' passing game.

A look at Schaub's upcoming schedule gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. The figure in parentheses represents the amount of fantasy points per game the defense has permitted to the quarterback position this season.

Week 11: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (18.9)
Week 12: at Detroit Lions (17.6)
Week 13: at Tennessee Titans (20.6)
Week 14: at New England Patriots (22.1)
Week 15: vs. Indianapolis Colts (18.6)
Week 16: vs. Minnesota Vikings (21.9)
Week 17: at Indianapolis Colts (18.6)

On paper, the Lions offer the toughest matchup. Houston will have to attack them with a balanced approach to be successful, given the relative strength of Detroit's run defense (92.1 yards per game to RBs), although it's not like this secondary is really that strong.

Schaub has averaged only 31 attempts per game, which is good for a multi-way tie at 24th. By comparison, Matthew Stafford leads the league with 43 tosses per outing. The veteran Texans' passer has thrown for 223.7 yards and 1.44 scores, on average - both pedestrian numbers.

While most of the matchups ahead are reasonable, you have to be careful that Houston's game plan or the game's flow can greatly influence how the Texans attack their opponent. Offenses that should challenge Houston's defense (Detroit, New England, Indy) are your best matchups to play Schaub, as he is more likely to have to pass.

Owners looking for a low-cost, low-risk QB2 with starter potential should target Schaub. You can probably land him for next to nothing, and while he may not carry your team, rest assured knowing you always have a positive matchup should your primary slinger face an unfavorable one.


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